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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Create a path to leadership

It's the second Saturday of May (already!) and that means it is time for a new membership
recruitment and retention tip.

Membership retention and recruitment tip #57: Create a path to leadership.

We know this to be true - some people prefer to follow, some people want to lead, and all people like to be heard. In your Optimist Club, you must create space for the different levels of interest shown by your members and be aware, interests will likely change as engagement or disengagement occurs. 

If one person is always the committee chair of the club’s biggest event, always doing things his/her way, that leaves little room for new ideas to grow. Not only does the club suffer from the lack of new ideas, members become disillusioned and leave.

The same is true for club officers. If the president and secretary-treasurer continually repeat in their roles, they create a perception that others are not needed. When people are not needed, what do they do? More often than not, they leave. 

It is up to current leaders to find and recruit their replacements so that the organization at the club level and beyond does not become stale from the lack of fresh, enthusiastic, new people, dreams, and goals. 

Great leaders are always training their replacement so that, in addition to fresh energy, they can provide continuity on the initiatives already begun that will move the organization forward. An organization like Optimist International relies on the quality of leadership that begins at the club level and is nurtured at the district level. It is more important today than ever before that succession planning begin. As individuals, we may not be here forever, but with planning, the organizations we love will thrive well into the future.